W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-ddwg@w3.org > February 2008

RE: Time to take a leadership position on client-side APIs

From: Rotan Hanrahan <rotan.hanrahan@mobileaware.com>
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2008 11:51:27 -0500
Message-ID: <D5306DC72D165F488F56A9E43F2045D39C6C10@FTO.mobileaware.com>
To: "Dave Raggett" <dsr@w3.org>, <public-ddwg@w3.org>

I agree with Dave's call to action, but I don't think that it is the responsibility of the Mobile Web Initiative to create the roadmap, even though the dominant use cases are in the mobile domain. The issue of client-side APIs accessible to applications within browsers is not confined to mobile. This is an issue that will touch all aspects of the Web, and while I would accept the MWI being the initial champion of an initiative on client-side APIs, it seems to me that the cause should be taken up at a higher level within the W3C. Confining this work to mobile would be a mistake.


From: public-ddwg-request@w3.org on behalf of Dave Raggett
Sent: Wed 06/02/2008 16:35
To: public-ddwg@w3.org
Subject: Time to take a leadership position on client-side APIs

There is huge potential for mobile web applications that can access
device capabilities from client-side scripts. There has been a lot
of work on J2ME APIs, but we lack standards for exposing local
device capabilities to applications running in web browsers. The
time has surely come for W3C to bring interested parties together to
work on fixing this as a matter of priority.

Properties like location, with privacy and associated legal issues,
will clearly be more complicated to deal with, as we will need to
address the security and trust models involved. But other properties
like battery level, signal strength, light and vibration control,
should be much easier to progress.

The Device Description WG is defining APIs for access to properties
of classes of devices, and the OMA is defining a protocol and
server-side API for access to dynamic properties (DPE) that will
enable servers to dynamically adapt media streams to match device
orientation and bandwidth. The UWA WG has recently moved DCCI to CR
and published the first draft WD for an ontology for the delivery
context, where the ontology is decoupled from the APIs that it
models. DCCI is a client-side framework, but doesn't itself define
any properties. With a little work, DCCI could be used for:

     * dynamic content adaptation on client
     * checking battery level, signal strength
     * controlling the display brightness
     * turning the phone's vibrator on and off
     * checking screen orientation and size
     * checking available free memory

The following will need work on trust models and could be part of a
second wave:

     * implementing location-based services
     * interface to on-phone applications (PIM)
       including calendar and contacts
     * allowing web page scripts to initiate phone calls

It seems timely for the W3C Mobile Web Initiative to create a
roadmap for building concensus on client-side access to device
capabilities. This seems like something W3C should be taking a
leadership position on given the opportunities for third party
developers to stimulate mobile data traffic if we succeed in
standardizing the APIs. Without such action there is a risk of
fragmentation as multiple APIs appear and developers have to choose
between them.

What's the best way to bring together the relevant stake holders?
For instance, browser vendors, device vendors, network operators and
application developers?

  Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org> http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett 
Received on Wednesday, 6 February 2008 16:50:59 UTC

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